The Ozone Disco Club fire and deaths were the result of several levels of mismanagement, carelessness, and possibly corruption.
The building was granted a permit to operate as a public establishment without having any fire alarm or sprinkler system. The design of the entrance – with a long, narrow access hall and an inward-swinging door – was in contravention with current building codes. The city engineering and permit-granting bodies committed a grave and possibly criminal error in granting the Ozone Disco a license to operate.
The closing of the 1 emergency exit by another building would not have gone unnoticed by the owners, and should have been avoided or immediately remedied in order to maintain basic safety on the premises. Allowing fire extinguishers to fall to inoperative levels was another huge lapse in management, maintenance, and common sense. Extreme overcrowding on the night of the fire, 350 patrons and 40 staff when the Ozone Disco was permitted 35 occupants, compounded the danger.
The effects and toll of the Ozone Club fire could have been limited or eliminated by the use and application of proper licensing authority, proper management, and good sense. The lack of all three led to one of the worst club disasters in world history.